Nairobi, Wednesday, July 1st, 2020: Kenya has been awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Safe Travel Stamp. This is in recognition of the destination’s adoption of the global health and hygiene standardized protocols dubbed ‘Safe Travels.
This announcement was made by the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala during the unveiling of the Magical Kenya travel & tourism health and safety guidelines and protocols.
This recognition is timely as Kenya prepares to reopen the tourism and hospitality industry after months of closure.
To meet this recognition, Kenya sent the protocols drafted by National Tourism and Hospitality Protocols Taskforce to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for validation. This is in line with the Global reopening of Tourism and Travel Protocols.
“I am delighted to announce that Kenya has been listed among the 80 global destinations certified and authorized to use the “World Travel and Tourism Council Safe Travel Stamp” together with our Magical Kenya Logo. This stamp will allow travelers to recognize Kenya as a safe destination once we reopen and implement the health and safety protocols” said CS Balala
The tourism and travel sector is undoubtedly one of the worst hit globally following the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Arising from the pandemic the tourism and wildlife sectors are experiencing unprecedented health and social economic crisis. Locally, the crisis has crippled the industry due to the movement restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of the virus.
“The Protocols we have launched today will provide guidance for the tourism sector’s reopening as we look to actualize the tourism recovery initiatives that have been facilitated by the government going forward. I appreciate the National Tourism and Hospitality Protocols Taskforce for developing this document that will form a basis for proper reopening of the sector” added Balala
The protocols will seek to achieve Institutional, Operational and Staff Preparedness to ensure service provision meets required guidelines aimed at preventing spread of COVID-19. They will also Ensure a safe experience for visitors, rebuild trust and confidence, and Implement enabling policies and guidelines thus provide a step by step process of a careful reopening and restart of business in the tourism sector.
About the World Travel and Tourism Council Stamp
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is a forum for the travel and tourism industry made up of members from the global business community. The council works with governments to raise awareness about the travel and tourism industry globally.
WTTC alongside members, governments, health experts and other industry associations have been working together to achieve effective recovery protocols by developing meaningful action plans that optimize sector-wide recovery efforts.
Part of the protocols include providing the public & private sectors with the insights & toolkits for interaction & implementation to ensure that people are and feel safe. This is also to ensure a future of travel which is safe, secure, and seamless and provide an authentic and meaningful experience to the traveler across the journey. The protocols align the private sector behind common standards to ensure the safety of its workforce and travelers as the sector shifts to a new normal.
COVID-19 Impact to Tourism
The sector is the most directly impacted at present by COVID-19 locally. It accounts for roughly 10% of the country’s GDP which is around USD 1.63bn Tourism receipts and 13.1% of total exports.
Over 95% of the tourism sector’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) establishments which comprise of 80% women and youth in its workforce have been shut down due to Covid-19.
The impact of the pandemic is expected to render over 2.5million people jobless or to be placed on unpaid leave with uncertainty of their future welfare.
There has been significant drop in internally generated revenue by 98.8% and visitor numbers at KWS parks.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that the Aviation sector could lose up to $113 billion in 2020. African airlines are expected to suffer a cumulative loss of $6 billion in passenger revenue in 2020.